As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 4 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 25 Jul 2012

Ann Davies 1934-2022Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 April 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Ann Davies (Credit: Chuck Foster)

The actress Anne Davies has died at the age of 87 

Ann Davies appeared in five episodes of the 1964 first Doctor story The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Davies played Jenny, the freedom fighter who teamed up with Barbara to try to reach the Dalek mines and defeat the Daleks. She was asked to dye her hair blond for the studio sessions of the story so as to contrast with the two female leads. For the earlier location filming she wore a balaclava. 

Davies appeared in many British television programmes during her long career, including parts in Grange Hill, EastEnders and The Bill. 

She was married to actor Richard Briers for over 50 years until his death in 2013. The couple appeared together in many productions including the comedy Ever Decreasing Circles and  the film Peter’s Friends. 

Ann Davies' death was announced by her agent  on Tuesday, She is survived by her two daughters Katie and Lucy Briers.





FILTER: - Obituary

Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 577Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 27 April 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine Issue 577 (Credit: Panini)

The latest edition of Doctor Who Magazine features an exclusive interview with outgoing show-runner Chris Chibnall. 

Highlights of the new issue include:

  • In his most extensive and revealing interview ever, Chris Chibnall looks back on his time as Doctor Who showrunner and shares detailed insights into the making of the series since 2017.

  • Director Paul Joyce provides a commentary on the stills that created fantasy backdrops to his 1981 story Warriors’ Gate.

  • How Doctor Who became part of Fortnite, the biggest video game in the world.

  • The team behind the forthcoming Doctor Who – Worlds of Wonder describe the new exhibition.

  • A look at how the Silurians and Sea Devils have evolved since their first appearances in the 1970s.

  • Collectivity meets Doctor Who’s branded-clothing collectors.

  • Apocrypha revisits World Game, a 2005 Second Doctor novel by Terrance Dicks.

  • The Fact of Fiction saddles up for A Town Called Mercy.

  • The fourth and final part of Hydra’s Gate, a new comic-strip story for the Doctor, Yaz and Dan.

  • Previews, reviews, news, prize-winning competitions, Time and Space Visualiser, Sufficient Data and more!

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 577 is on sale from panini.co.uk and WH Smith from Thursday 28 April priced £6.99 (UK).

Also available as a digital edition from pocketmags.com priced £5.99.





FILTER: - DWM - Chris Chibnall

Legend Of The Sea Devils - Official 7 Day RatingsBookmark and Share

Monday, 25 April 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Legend Of The Sea Devils: Ji-Hun (ARTHUR LEE) (Credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)

Doctor Who - Legend Of The Sea Devils, had an official 7-day rating of 3.47 million viewers.

The figure includes all those who watched the episode within 1 week of transmission. The figure is a substantial increase over the initial overnight figure and was enough to make Doctor Who the highest-rated programme on BBC Television for the day.

Overall Doctor Who was the third most-watched programme on British Television for the day, with ITV's drama The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe taking top place.

Doctor Who was the 24th most-watched programme for the week.

The rise from the overnight figure was enough to prevent The Legend of the Sea Devils becoming the lowest-rated episode in Doctor Who history.  That accolade is still held by episode one of the 1989 story Battlefield with 3.1 million watching.  It does however mean that the Sea Devil episode is the lowest-rated story since the series returned in 2005.

Doctor Who will return for one more story in 2022, a climactic regeneration story shown to mark the BBC's 100th birthday, before a new production team, headed up by Russell T Davies, takes over for series 14. 





FILTER: - Ratings - UK - Broadcast

Doctor Who Titan Special 2022Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 23 April 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Special 2022 COVER_PHOTO_-_BOOK_TRADE_EDITION (Credit: Titan )

Titan has released a preview of its Doctor Who Special 2022, written by Eisner Award-Winner Dan Slott (Spider-ManFantastic FourShe-Hulk), and with art by Christopher Jones (Young Justice), and Matthew Dow Smith (HellboyBad Luck Chuck).


 

DOCTOR WHO: SPECIAL 2022

  • Writer: Dan Slott
  • Artist: Christopher Jones & Matthew Dow Smith
  • Publisher: Titan Comics - 64pp
  • On Sale: July 5, 2022

Eisner Award-Winner Dan Slott’s Doctor Who Comics debut sees Martha Jones spin three sensational yarns about the Tenth Doctor in order to survive!

An epic story that sees companion Martha Jones captured by the insatiable Pyromeths, and her only hope for survival is to keep them distracted with sensational untold tales of the Tenth Doctor facing off against his greatest foes-- both classic and new!

 Witness the incredible adventures of the Tenth Doctor like never-before! You’ll be on the edge of your Tardis as she recounts three unbelievable tales of The Doctor facing off against his deadliest foes! 

This Doctor Who collection continues the time-traveling tales of the Doctor and friends.

!Features a bonus story starring the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler!

Doctor Who: Special 2022 is available at comic shops, bookstores and digital from July 6, 2022.
 
Pre-order now from your local comic shopForbidden Planet (UK & Europe) and Amazon.
 

 

Doctor Who Special 2022 COVER_B_PHOTO_28 (Credit: Titan )Doctor Who Special 2022 COVER_C_PHOTO_28 (Credit: Titan )Doctor Who Special 2022 COVER_A_ADAM_HUGHES  (Credit: Titan )Doctor Who Special 20222 MATTHEW_DOW_SMITH  (Credit: Titan )Doctor Who Special 2022 DW_FIRELIGHT_3_CHRISTOPHER_JONES (Credit: Titan )Doctor Who Special 2022 DW_FIRELIGHT_2_CHRISTOPHER_JONES (Credit: Titan )




FILTER: - Titan

DWM Special Edition - Action Figures: The Essential GuideBookmark and Share

Thursday, 21 April 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine Special 60 Action Figures: The Essential Guide (Credit: Panini)

 

The latest special edition of Doctor Who Magazine is a lavishly illustrated guide to action figures and other articulated toys inspired by the original run of the series.

Packed with exclusive photography and behind-the-scenes details, this publication includes collectibles inspired by the first eight Doctors, their companions and adversaries.

From the earliest Dalek rarities in the1960s to the very latest gift sets, this is the story of a merchandising phenomenon.

Action Figures: The Essential Guide 1963-1996 is on sale from Thursday 21 April at WHSmith, selected supermarkets and online from panini.co.uk priced £7.99.

A digital edition is also available, priced £6.99 from pocketmags.com





FILTER: - DWM

Legend of the Sea Devils - Appreciation IndexBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 19 April 2022 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Legend Of The Sea Devils achieved an Audience Appreciation Index score of 76.

The Appreciation Index or AI is a measure of how much the audience enjoyed the programme. The score, out of a hundred, is compiled by a specially selected panel of around 5,000 people who go online and rate and comment on programmes.

The figure is comparable with those achieved over the last series, ranging between 79 for Village of the Angels and 75 for Once, Upon Time. The most recent episode, New Year Day's Eve Of The Daleks, scored 77.





FILTER: -

Billie Piper and Camille Coduri reunited for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Monday, 18 April 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Rose Tyler’s Other Worlds (Credit: Big Finish)
Big Finish has revealed story details and cover artwork for Rose Tyler’s latest adventures across parallel universes in The Dimension Cannon –Other Worlds, due for release in October 2022.
 
Billie Piper returns in three full-cast audio dramas, set in the aftermath of the 2006 Doctor WhoTV story Doomsday, as Rose continues her search for the Doctor alongside her mum Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri) and the conspiracist Clive Finch (Mark Benton).
 
Rose Tyler:The Dimension Cannon —Other Worlds is now available to pre-order as collector’s edition box sets (on CD + download for just £19.99) or digital download only (for just £16.99),  from bigfinish.com.
 
Rose Tyler continues her mission to find the one person who can stop the stars going out and save the multiverse.
Each jump takes Rose to an Earth under threat -parallel worlds, which means other versions of friends and family too. Time is running out, but Rose won’t stop until she finds the Doctor...
 
The three multidimensional adventures in this box set are as follows:
 
  • Saltwater by Alison Winter
    Rose finds an Earth under threat, as something steals the salt from the oceans. As global tensions escalate, Rose wants to make those in charge listen, and finds an ally in the shape of another Clive...
  • Now is the New Dark by AK Benedict
    On an Earth where science never advanced from the Dark Ages, Rose and Clive find themselves under suspicion.Someone is killing the Melancholics, but apparently there’s a Doctor here who can help...
  • The Rogue Planet by Emily Cook
    Rose finds herself closer to home than ever –but she’s in for a shock. Meanwhile, Jackie is a hit on daytime TV and Clive is a professor, but nobody seems to realise how much danger the world is in
 
Camille Coduri said:Camille Coduri / Billie Piper (Credit: Big Finish)
I’m so hugely excited to be back recording with Billie Piper. It’s just always such a joy. I love her beyond life itself. To getto play our old roles again together in another adventure is brilliant fun. I think fans better get their seatbelts on. The stories are rip-roaring and a lot of unexpected things will happen. There’s joy, comedy, pathos, sadness, and huge drama. Get ready for the ride
Mark Benton added:
I was so pleased when Big Finish got in touch to say they were doing more of The Dimension Cannon. Every time I get to play Clive again is a real surprise. Coming back is like coming home. It’s such great fun to record. This new series is exciting, it’s funny, and it’s very different. We had a blast doing it from start to finish.
Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon Volume 2 —Other Worlds is now available to pre-order for just £19.99 (as a 3-disc collector’s edition CD box set + download) or £16.99 (download only), exclusively from the Big Finish website.
 
Big Finish listeners can save money by buying volumes two and three of Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon together in a bundle for £38 (as a CD + download) or £33 (download only)
 




FILTER: - Big Finish

Legend Of The Sea Devils - Overnight Viewing FiguresBookmark and Share

Monday, 18 April 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Legend Of The Sea Devils (Credit: BBC/Getty Images)

Doctor Who - Legend Of The Sea Devils, had an audience of 2.2 million according to unofficial overnight viewing figures. 

The figure is disappointing for the series, making Doctor Who the 11th most-watched programme on Easter Sunday. 

Doctor Who was pitched against  Britain's Got Talent on ITV 1,  which won the day with 5.2 million watching.  The new ITV drama The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe on ITV had an overnight audience of 4.71m.

Final figures, released next week, will include those who recorded the episode and who watched it later. 

The current lowest rated episode of Doctor Who was the first episode of the 1989 story Battlefield, which has 3.10 million viewers

 





FILTER: - Ratings - UK

BBC Centenary - Doctor Who EpisodeBookmark and Share

Sunday, 17 April 2022 - Reported by Marcus
The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) (Credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)

The BBC has revealed details of the next episode of Doctor Who, to be shown as part of the celebrations to mark 100 years of the BBC. 

 

*** Spoilers For the Trailer Follow ***

 

The episode, to be shown this Autumn, will feature a dramatic encounter between The Doctor, The Master, the Daleks and the Cybermen as well as seeing the return of two companions from the classic series of Doctor Who. 

Both Tegan, as played by Janet Fielding, and Ace, played by Sophie Aldred will be returning in the story which will see the end of the Thirteenth Doctor and her regeneration into Doctor Number 14.

The Master, who last appeared in series 12’s final episode The Timeless Children., will be played once more by Sacha Dhawan.  For the first time since the show returned to BBC One in 2005, The Master, the Daleks and the Cybermen will all feature in one single story.

The trail, which aired after the Easter special Legend of the Sea Devils, revealed the surprise return of two of the Doctor’s companions from earlier eras of the show.  Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka -  companion to both the Fourth and Fifth Doctors -- and Sophie Aldred as Ace - companion to the Seventh Doctor, who will reprise their roles on screen for the first time since leaving the show.

 

Showrunner Chris Chibnall saysACE (SOPHIE ALDRED) and TEGAN (JANET FIELDING) (Credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)

Jodie’s final feature-length story contains a plethora of treats and surprises for audiences and fans, not least the return of two of the most beloved companions in the show’s history. They’ll be helping the Doctor fight on three fronts, against her deadliest enemies: the Master, Daleks and Cybermen,  in one huge story!  

For the BBC’s Centenary, we’ll be celebrating the past, present and future of Doctor Who, in a fittingly thrilling, epic and emotional send-off for the Thirteenth Doctor.

Janet Fielding says

In some ways it was a very different experience to what it was like when I finished recording in 1983, but in many ways it was very similar. It was so lovely to be a working member of the Doctor Who family again.

Sophie Aldred says:

It’s been quite a challenge to have such a big secret to keep, even from my family, and I couldn’t be more thrilled and excited to have been asked back. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I adored being part of the TARDIS team again.”

Also confirmed to be taking to the screen for the Doctor’s epic battle for survival are Vinder (Jacob Anderson) and Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) .

 

Yasmin Khan (MANDIP GILL) and THE MASTER (SACHA DHAWAN) (Credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)VINDER (JACOB ANDERSON) (Credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)Yasmin Khan (MANDIP GILL) (Credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)The Daleks (Credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)ASHAD (PATRICK O’ KANE) (Credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)Dan Lewis (JOHN BISHOP) (Credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)KATE STEWART (JEMMA REDGRAVE) (Credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)

 

Written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Jamie Magnus Stone, the feature-length special will air later this year as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations, with further details to be confirmed in due course.

 

Trailer.





FILTER: - Production

Lethbridge-Stewart: the end beginsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 16 April 2022 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books has announced the first book in its final series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels.

The final year of Lethbridge-Stewart novels is split in two halves, with the first a trilogy of novels set during Lethbridge-Stewart’s time as a teacher at Brendon School. This first of these, A Most Haunted Man, sees the return of Sarah Groenewegen to the series, with her first novel since 2017’s The Daughters of Earth, although her most recent short story featured in the UNIT: Operation Wildcat collection.

 

Lethbridge-Stewart: A Most Haunted Man (Credit: Candy Jar Books)A Most Haunted Man

Written by Sarah Groenewegen

Cover by Martin Baines

 

 

In 1977, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart suffered a shock so great that he was hospitalised. Not that he can remember what happened. Teachers found him, knocked out cold beside the obelisk on the hill. No signs of an attack. No bumps on his head, and no memory of why he lay where he fell, who he’d been with, and great chunks of his past torn from his mind.

 

It wasn’t like any form of amnesia described in the textbooks. The clinic discharged him back to Brendon Public School and he resumed his duties as a teacher of mathematics and rugger.

 

Two years later and a series of nightmares send him back to the clinic. Then come the pranks played by identical twins, his own erratic behaviour and short-term memory loss leading to a breach of the Official Secrets Act. Someone else is living in his house, driving his car, and making changes to the school he loves.

 

It seems that the demons haunting him prove too big for him to fight on his own.

 

 

The 2022 series was put back a little when it was discovered the book planned to open the year was a little too close to the events at play in Ukraine. Thus, Spheres of Influence has been put on indefinite hold. Hopefully it will see the light of day at some point but, for now, and to make up for the delay, Candy Jar Books have also decided to reprint the very first Lethbridge-Stewart novel, The Forgotten Son: Special Edition, with a brandnew cover by Richard Young.

Head of Publishing Shaun Russell said:

When it became apparent that the themes and events depicted in Spheres of Influence too closely echoed current events, Andy Frankham-Allen and I quickly came to the decision that to release it at this time would be, at the very least, insensitive. Putting it on hold did mean bringing forward the rest of 2022’s books, and finding a replacement. Fortunately, Andy quickly solved that problem by commissioning a third Brendon novel, turning the first three titles into a loose trilogy. For myself, I decided it would be a nice idea to reprint The Forgotten Son with a new cover, to hopefully make up a little for the delay. I must stress, however, that the content remains the same from the previous revised version.

 

A Most Haunted Man is set two years after the Brigadier’s traumatic encounter with his future self in the Doctor Who television serial, Mawdryn Undead. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:

This is another of those books which started an idea that came up through discussions with Shaun – a good two years ago, at least. It was a while before I realised it was the perfect fit for Sarah. I’d been wanting to do another novel with her, and she came back for a short story in The Laughing Gnome: The HAVOC Files, so it was great when she agreed to do another novel for us. The only real prerequisite, other than the core idea, was that it had to be set during the Brig’s time at Brendon when he’d lost all memory of the Doctor.

Sarah Groenewegen said:

I adore writing for the Brigadier, and being able to explore different facets of this much-loved character has been great fun. When I was offered another novel in the series, this one set in 1979 and during the Brig’s post-army career as a school teacher, I immediately said yes. It’s an honour to be asked to contribute a novel to the final season of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, which has proved to be a terrific series of stories.

Sarah’s previous novel, The Daughters of Earth, delt with the breakdown of his relationship with his then-fiancée. In this book, Sarah’s dealing with a breakdown of a different sort::

I wanted to explore how he deals with strange goings-on when he has forgotten so much, and when he doesn’t have his soldiers to call on to help. My brief was to write a psychological thriller, in which the Brig’s identity and life is stolen from him. The novel allowed me to explore the nature of identity theft, and memory loss, and the combined uneasiness of not being able to trust your own mind. I added a set of identical twins to the mix, a boy at Brendon, and a girl at a local comprehensive. They are at the cusp of their own change from creepy kids who enjoy playing tricks on people, to young adults facing choices.

Setting the book in 1979 also freed Sarah up from the ongoing narrative, and gave her a chance to explore a different facet from the usual setting of the early-70s:

The setting was apposite because of the feeling of being on a cusp of change, but without knowing its direction. In that, it parallels much of today’s politics. I found it cathartic to explore similar themes of being seduced by the apparent certainty of authoritarianism — even with the attendant feeling it could turn on its own to destroy at a moment’s notice. 1979 proved to be a watershed year in Britain. The full assault on the unions, LGBTQIA people, and appeals to jingoism of the worst kind were all yet to come; and for a while the political turmoil that brought much of the UK to a standstill ceased. It’s hard to think that in this day and age of TV-on-demand, the stations that are now ITV were off air for much of the year. 1979 was an amazing year for British pop music. Punk began to segue into the New Romantic movement, and rap, reggae and disco attracted huge numbers of fans. It was fun delving into the music of the time through a few of the kids who are important during the story.

 

The cover is by popular artist Martin Baines, returning from the success of his recent cover for UNIT: Operation Wildcat:

I was partially inspired by a German poster of a classic British film. My last Candy Jar cover I did was for the UNIT anthology, Operation Wildcat. It was very flash, bang, wallop. Because of this, I enjoyed tackling a more psychological concept for this book.”

 

Both A Most Haunted Man and The Forgotten Son are available to purchase from the Candy Jar website.

 

The final series of Lethbridge-Stewart will be split in two parts over 2022, the first half is the Brendon trilogy and will continue with Legacy of the Dominator by Nick Walters, and The Overseers II by James Middleditch. The second half will be the final in the road to UNIT narrative which began in 2015, with novels by Natasha Gerson, John Peel, and Jonathan Blum.





FILTER: - Candy Jar Books - Books - Lethbridge-Stewart